Chicken breeding

kicknchicken

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 7, 2014
17
1
24
So, not sure how to word this. I have been raising chickens for a year now. We only have one rooster (by chance) and about 40 hens. They all live in the same coop and I would like to keep it that way. We will continue to eat the eggs and continue to butcher some of the hens to eat from time to time. We have hatched only 2 eggs via a broody hen and now some via an incubator. My question is about the next round of chickens.

Is there any concern about the rooster mating his offspring? Any chances of getting mutant chickens?
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,193
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
So, not sure how to word this. I have been raising chickens for a year now. We only have one rooster (by chance) and about 40 hens. They all live in the same coop and I would like to keep it that way. We will continue to eat the eggs and continue to butcher some of the hens to eat from time to time. We have hatched only 2 eggs via a broody hen and now some via an incubator. My question is about the next round of chickens.

Is there any concern about the rooster mating his offspring? Any chances of getting mutant chickens?

I would get a new male chick or three every year or two from the same source that your hens came from. Just to be sure of raising at least one perfect new cockerel to adulthood every year or two. That is provided that all of your hens are of one breed or strain.

Most hatchery chicks are IMHO vastly superior genetically over backyard chickens because of more genetic diversity. However I think that this is mostly true because of rigid selection of the brood stock combined with a larger selection of individual chickens a commercial hatchery has from which to pick and chose brood stock. I think that a flock of mutt chickens can be carried on for a long time without outside blood but the inbred quality of each individual strain will suffer with every new generation.

Whether for better or for worse this counts as a mutation. Sex link chickens or breeds like the Cornish X, are already hybrids or crosses and they will never breed true.

The popular Western idea of genetic diversity is flawed. The majority of the people who lived or who are alive today were or are married to their own cousins, especially their first cousins and that has been true for millenniums.
 
Last edited:

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,046
581
Southern Oregon
If you start with healthy stock you're fine to use the same rooster for a few generations. Most folks seem to be good with 3-4 years, then change out for new blood. Personally, I used the same rooster for 3 generations and had no issues breeding him back to his daughters. Those birds were all hatchery stock also.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,121
19,615
857
Southeast Louisiana
All chicken breeds have been developed by inbreeding. Chickens that win chicken shows were created by inbreeding. The people that do that know what they are doing and have different techniques to keep going indefinitely without bringing in any new blood. I’m not that good.

One problem with inbreeding is that you can weaken the gene pool. The chickens might get less vigorous, lose fertility, or develop other bad traits. This doesn’t always happen immediately but it can and does over time. There are a few things you can do to counter that. First, don’t breed any defective birds. Select your breeders with care. If a chicken has a fault don’t allow it to breed. Get those genetic traits out of your flock. That way you are using selective breeding to improve or at least maintain your stock.

The other thing is every four or five generations bring in a new rooster. This will give your flock a nice boost of genetic diversity. It’s pretty much what small farmers have been doing for thousands of years to keep flocks that provide a lot of eggs and meat.
 

kicknchicken

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 7, 2014
17
1
24
I did buy all my chickens from one hatchery. We bought all hens (buff orphs) and they threw in an 'exotic bred' (looks like a black langshan) which turned out to be a rooster. We decided what the heck lets see if we can reproduce some put some meat in the freezer. We had one hen act broody last year so we put some eggs under her and 2 hatched. We know we don't have the right rooster to hen ratio but we don't care.

This spring a school teacher asked if I would sell her some eggs to hatch at school. Instead I donated them and she gave whatever hatched back after the kids watched them grow a few weeks. The thing is she got eggs from a few people with different breeds. At this time it looks like only one of the chicks is from our batch of eggs, it looks like the other 2 chicks that we had hatched. The other 11 chicks are a mix all yellow or are black and yellow. So, it looks like the new ones would introduce a new bloodline but we now would really have a 'mutt' kind of chicken.

I thought of butchering the rooster and getting a buff rooster but haven't taken action yet. The hens that are a mix of the two look to be larger than the buff hens so we thought we would butcher one of them to compare. As the cross might work better as a meat bird.

Any response is welcome. Thanks for the quick responses and help.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom